MAN Family Wines – Merlot

$18.60

An elegant, classic style of Merlot with soft smooth tannins. Dark ruby colour with aromas of plum, cherry and spices, complemented by earthy notes. This versatile wine has gentle tannins on the palate with hints of dark chocolate and blueberries followed by a long lingering finish.

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About Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA

Ntaba Coffee is proud to support the co-operative society SCFCU (Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union), which allows our supplier to bring Fair Trade– and organic-certified Sidama coffees from specific farmer co-ops.

HISTORY

Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike any other place in the coffee world. Unlike most coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization but were endemic to the country. In Ethiopia growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries. Coffee trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.

Culturally, politically, economically, and culinarily, Ethiopian coffee is hard to fully comprehend. Add to that the fact that the genetic diversity of coffee grown in Ethiopia is unmatched globally. There is 99% more genetic material in Ethiopia’s coffee alone than in the entire rest of the world—and the result is a coffee lover’s dream:

Because the beverage has such a significant role in the daily lives of Ethiopians, another unique aspect of Ethiopia’s coffee production is the very high domestic consumption.  About 50% of the country’s 6.5-million-bag annual production is consumed at home, with roughly 3.5 million bags exported.

Still commonly enjoyed as part of a “ceremonial” preparation, coffee is a way of gathering family, friends, and associates around a table for conversation and community. The most senior woman of the household roasts the coffee in a pan and grinds it fresh before mixing it with hot water in a brewing pot called a jebena. She serves the strong liquid in small cups, adding fresh boiling water to brew the coffee two more times. Taking about an hour from start to finish, the process is considered a regular show of hospitality and society.

Most if Ethiopia’s farmers are smallholders and sustenance farmers, with less than 1 hectare of land each. In many cases it is almost more accurate to describe the harvests as “garden coffee,” as the trees do sometimes grow in more of a garden or forest environment than in large fields. While there are some large, privately-owned estates and co-operatives comprising of a mix of small and more mid-size farms, the average producer in Ethiopia grows relatively very little for commercial sale.

PROCESSING AND PROFILE

There are several ways coffee is prepared for market in Ethiopia. While there are large, privately-owned estates which are operated by hired labor, “garden coffee” is brought by a farmer in cherry form to the closest or most convenient washing station. The washed beans are then sold and blended with other farmers’ lots and processed according to the desires of the washing station. Co-op members will bring their crop to be weighed and received at a co-op washing station, where there is more traceability to the producer.

The profile of Ethiopian coffees will vary based on several factors, including variety, process, and microregion. Typically, natural processed coffees will have much more of a pronounced fruit and deep chocolate tones, often with a bit of a winey characteristic and a syrupy body. Washed coffees will be lighter and have more pronounced acidity, though individual characteristics may vary.

Harrar coffees are almost always processed naturally, or “dry,” and have a distinctly chocolate, nutty profile that reflects the somewhat more arid climate the coffee grows in.

Sidama is a large coffee-growing region in the south and includes Guji and the famous Yirgacheffe.  Yirgacheffe coffee is a wet processed coffee grown at elevations from 1,600 to 2,300 meters above sea level and is the considered the best high-grown coffee in southern Ethiopia.